Digital Data Management: Privacy & Ethical Issues - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1708 Words
Date:  2023-03-23


Digital technologies are contemporary frameworks and approaches to the efficient management of information and consumer data. Their use has significantly increased in the past years, and in the process, several issues have emerged. Privacy and ethical concerns are some of the contentious matters that have been subject to various discussions. The sensitivity regarding these issues have prompted different approaches deliberated to address concerns such as the costly nature of acquisition and use of digital technologies, consumer information and malpractices associated with them like sale and sharing of data without consent, and lastly, lack of data privacy, confidentiality and security. It is for this reason that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), based on the various implications of big data technologies, and the has developed a multidimensional regulatory framework to addressed arising ethical and privacy issues (Tinkard 2016, p. 7). These measures and policies are flexible such that different countries can adopt and use them. The foundations of these regulations are based on the negative implications of digital technologies which leads to the hypothesis stating that such techniques have led to the development of more negative impacts on societies than the positive outcomes. The various arguments presented to substantiate this hypothesis encapsulate the measures put in place to address ethical issues as well as data privacy gaps. The risks associated with the hypothesis are also attached to the discussion, as mentioned above, to shed more light on the ethical perspectives and privacy issues regarding consumer and audience as they emerge regarding digital technologies.

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The Importance of Ethics and Privacy in Contemporary Technological World

Identification of Harmful Implications of Big Data

Even though big data is associated with characteristic implications, some of the dimensions taken by the harmful consequences have been underrated and left go unnoticed. For instance, the adverse effects on supply chains, as well as other operations in mega businesses, have been overlooked. The most profound negative implication surrounds the development of leaned prejudice algorithm, especially those revolving around pre-existing data (Barocas and Selbst 2016, p. 671). The ethical perspectives unearth the safety and privacy concerns based on the fact that one can easily predict the patterns and trends in data based on the existing models of available information. The net effect is inconsistency and gaps in ethical and data safety of information, especially in institutions.

Ethical and Data Privacy Issues

Figure 1.0: Ethical and Data Privacy Issues

Figure 1.0, for instance, proves an overview of the gaps regarding digital technologies through accidental or intentional discrimination and prejudice is imminent. While mobile device management is the least managed, at 40%, encryption is the most emphasized as it stands at 62%. Naturally, the ethical and security requirements recommend a 100% enforcement and management of these aspects, and this is contrary to these requirements. Other technologies used in data report and analytics, perimeter security and file sharing stand at 61%, 52.5%, and 42% respectively. These percentages, when compared against the threshold, 100%, are rather low and wanting. It shows how reduced ethical and privacy requirements are fulfilled and the extent to which stakeholders are not bothered.

The Current Matters Ethical and Privacy Issues

Figure 2.0: The Current Matters Ethical and Privacy Issues

Elucidation of Current matters in digital technologies along ethical and privacy lines is another fundamental importance of the subject. As shown in figure 2.0, a multidimensional perspective arises regarding the origin of confidentiality and ethical issues. For instance, it is shown that data privacy and ethical malpractices can either result from an organization's system, the supply chain, the use of such information. Lastly, the consumers could be potential generators of such issues. Organizational systems and process, alongside the consumers, collectively play significant roles in the generation of these issues. An excellent example of a point demonstrating this point regards the introduction of "loyalty cards" and it is from such activities that obfuscation arises. Data, as such, becomes unclear, and when the aspect of resistance to surveillance is added to the equation ambiguous, false and misleading information is rendered. With this, cross-sectional suffering among involved stakeholders materializes (Brunton and Nissenbaum 2011, p. 5). It is in this part that surveillance is viewed as pollution, and thus, the organization avoids it at all costs. Secondary uses of information are also scrutinized, and this regards questionable use.

Organizational systems, the internal operational frameworks and the suppliers involved are also fundamental contributors to the emerging issues. As shown in figure 2.0, the systems used by various organizations, as well as the respective system operational processes, elucidate specific ethical problems. For instance, much criticism has been witnessed, and much of it regards "datafication" in which the systems used and "bad" suppliers who deliberately ignore and exclude crucial data from their activities (Lerman 2013, p. 55). The most basic explanation for this aspect ties bad suppliers and the establishment of destructive demand and information in which the suppliers, based on the desired outcomes, will curate information to satisfy their intentions. An extension of this point spans around the historical account of digital technologies to illustrate the landscape of its use over time. For instance, in a survey study, the aspect of the use of digital technologies shows the categorization of data as either organic or designated, and the resultant ethical and privacy frameworks inform this classification (Groves 2011, p. 865). About the aforementioned bad supplier behaviors and malpractices come to light when the historical account is examined. Thus, the ethical and privacy perspectives account for the historical developments and events up to the current frameworks. In the process, the existing gaps arise, and subsequently, shed light on the probable mechanisms of addressing them.

Existing Approaches Used to Address the Current Ethical and Privacy Issues


In pursuit of more reasonable use, based on the ethical and privacy demands, there have been several legislations that have been deliberated to establish common grounds and limitations for developers, consumers, users as well as digital technology producers. The European Union (EU), for instance, deliberated legislative frameworks through which laws and policies demanding total data transparency, accountability among developers, quality management, the establishment of restriction on particular behaviors and activities, and lastly, consent-based consumption of owners' data (White and Biggs 2012, p. 8). Different countries across the globe can use the policies. One of the urgent demands of EU's legislation requires users to be well acquainted with the intended purposes of data, and the subsequent development of more safe and secure information exploitation processes and the bottom line of the latter regards ethical consumption of information and digital information technologies. To this point, the legislation aims at addressing the various gaps and issues emerging along with ethical aspects of digital technologies.

Mass Education

Consumers are also at the core of the irregularities surrounding digital technologies. The justification for this claim lies at the heart of less education, and with this approach, conducting mass consumer education has been used to impart knowledge regarding privacy and ethical issues underpinning digital technology. The most fundamental lesson taught in regards to information technology malpractices such as sharing and sale of information without their consent (White and Biggs 2012, p. 9). Educating the public on such matters equip them with the knowledge and skills through which they can avoid such practices and safeguard their data. Also, it enhances ethical used of information technologies and digital data seeking data owners' consent before sharing, selling or using their information under whichever grounds. The bottom line of consumer education is substantiating data literacy, and hence, a sound and sober data use in society. The latter's concerns revolve around societal-friendly consumption and use of digital technologies in which obedience for ethical and privacy demands are upheld.


Responsibility knocks at the doorstep of innovators when it comes to this measure. The EU, for instance, demands responsible change among developers through which they are to adhere and frame their operations to obey the privacy and ethical demands (White and Biggs 2012, p. 10). The responsibility encapsulates mutual trust between the involved stakeholders in which a bilateral relationship and implication on the society is critical. In the latter's case, acceptability, society-friendly, and sustainability is stressed. The innovators' responsibility, as such, regards the expectation that they should be developing digital technologies that enhance ethical practices in society. The products of their innovative activities should be friendly to the community, and this is the mechanism through which this measure has been used to address ethical and privacy issue. The backbone of this measure touches on resolving ethical and privacy concerns from the source. Arguably, ironing data privacy and ethical aspects from the generation point substantiate the overall realization of confidentiality and ethical requirements. Also, when ethical-friendly digital technologies and frameworks are established, there is no room for malpractices and irregularities. With this, the moral and privacy concerns are addressed in a hassle-free manner.

Arguments for the Hypothesis

The Flaws of Digital Technologies and Responsibility Gaps

The hypothesis states that digital media poses more threat than benefits to the society in which multidimensional arguments arise. Even though the debate about this hypothesis is contentious, several points fundamentally support it. The most common and fundamental aspects put across to support the hypothesis regards confidentiality, privacy, and the accompanying vulnerabilities enabling breach of data. Data protection and security parameters, to begin with, have proven to be a daunting task to both users and security experts (Cucoranu et al. 2013, p. 1). Viewing the aspect in which big data cannot guarantee absolute and robust security for its audience, its significance in application and data processing is watered down. It is in this part that it brings more harm than good. The vulnerability left to malicious hackers brings about a more complex problem than data processing challenges (Surmaik 2018, p. p. 7). Arguably, big data was introduced to address data processing problems, in which security, confidentiality and privacy fall in the list of the matters to be addressed. As such, its overall implication does not address issues, but instead, creates other problems.

Fueling of Unhealthy Business Practices

Ethical constraints underpinning big data provide another excellent example through which digital media creates more harm than good to society. The most fundamental point regards the sale and sharing of information between and among companies (Martin 2015, p. 2). The problem comes in when information is shared without the audiences' consent, and this drags the aspect of business ethics in the equation. In this part, big data, as it is used in infor...

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Digital Data Management: Privacy & Ethical Issues - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 23). Retrieved from

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